Can Anfield inspire Liverpool to another European comeback against Atletico Madrid?
Odds, tips and preview for Champions League last-16 clash
Liverpool are looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie tonight. Will home advantage make the difference for the Reds again?
European nights under the Anfield floodlights always seem to have a special aura. And even the best teams can be overawed by the intensity. Just ask Barcelona. Or Manchester City. Or Borussia Dortmund.
Our traders fancy Liverpool to win on the night at 8/15. Atletico are back at 11/2, with the draw going for 14/5.
But as for who’ll qualify, it’s almost too close to call. Liverpool are 10/11, Atletico are 5/6.
Liverpool’s defence has looked more open than usual recently – Liverpool to win and BTTS is going for 27/10.
As for goalscorers, Mohamed Salah is 14/5 to score first or 23/20 anytime. Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are 6/4 and 23/10 respectively to net.
Alvaro Morata leads the way for Atleti at 13/2 for First Goalscorer or 13/5 anytime. Diego Costa is 4/1 to net anytime, while Saul Niguez is 17/2 for another crucial European goal.
The home crowd could be vital to Liverpool’s chances tonight. Jurgen Klopp’s side haven’t been at their relentless best in recent weeks.
They’ve lost three of their last five games and made hard work of beating West Ham United and Bournemouth in the other two. The Premier League leaders haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of those five games either. Alisson is also a major doubt in goal – he would be a huge miss.
Fortunately for the hosts, Jordan Henderson should return in midfield. The captain’s influence has been badly missed in recent weeks. Andy Robertson should also be back in on the left side of defence.
Liverpool dominated the ball in the first leg but barely laid a glove on their opponents. They didn’t have a single shot on target. They’ll likely control possession again here, will the atmosphere get to the visitors this time?
In recent years, you’d think if any side could block out the noise at Anfield, it would be Diego Simeone’s Atletico.
They’ve been a side forged in their manager’s image – cunning, incredibly organised and with a ferocious mentality. But it’s been a transitional season for the club, as they adapt to life without stalwarts including Diego Godin, Antoine Griezmann and Juanfran.
This current model isn’t quite as resilient as its predecessors yet, though they still pose a real threat.
If the visitors can hold their structure, it will be very hard for Liverpool to break them down. Then they’ll look to Alvaro Morata and Joao Felix to grab a goal on the break. Felix’s Atletico career hasn’t properly got going yet – a goal here would kick-start things for the big-money signing.
We could be in for another European classic on Merseyside – which way will it go?
View the latest Liverpool v Atletico Madrid odds.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication